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How To - Create an Index

  1. Mar 23, 2009 #1
    Hi, I'm new to this. I've always wished to create an index, for hobby and all.

    Not the kind of index in lengthy books, but the statistical kind, like a happiness index - http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=happiness+index&btnG=Google+Search

    Those kinds; I don't know if they have a specific name, but that doesn't matter too much.

    In the past, I've read basic statistics-related stuff, but they have never gotten me anywhere near helpful.

    So in any event,
    How do I go about this?

    Please in plain English. Links are always helpful. Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 24, 2009 #2
    Nobody knows?..... :(
  4. Mar 25, 2009 #3
    By an index do you mean financial index like S&P and FTSE? Perhaps if you could be a bit more specific you may get an answer. I don't understand what exactly you are after.
  5. Mar 25, 2009 #4
    You should have asked...

    By index, I found out they are call "index numbers," though I couldn't have been any more specific initially since I'm not familiar with that topic.

    Did you even check the happiness index google link above... ? then you would have understood what I was trying to express with limited knowledge.

    How To - Create an Index should be a simple enough process... hopefully.
  6. Mar 25, 2009 #5
  7. Mar 25, 2009 #6
    Yes I did and it made no sense to me. It didn't even give a direct hit.

    You need to be a bit more specific here. Most people lurking in this section are mathematicians, you need to say exactly what you want. I still don't understand how this relates to statistics. If you want to know how to measure something like happiness then you are better off posting in social sciences.

    After you have your data and how you want to order with respect to that data, posting here may be a good idea.

    I may be wrong on what you are after so pardon me if that is the case. You should make things more clear mathematically if you want to get a decent response.
  8. Mar 26, 2009 #7
    "it made no sense to me." - maybe you aren't familiar with indexes, because they call those indexes.
    "didn't even give a direct [site]." - not suppose to.
    "in this section are mathematicians" - a Statistician should probably know
    "you need to say exactly what you want." - already did, How To - Create an Index
    "don't understand how this relates to statistics." - it's _Based_ on statistics.

    "..social sciences." - sure, i'll try there... but they have very inappropriate fields like Anthropology, Archaeology, Linguistics, History and Humanities...
    "...need to be a bit more specific here." - how?
    "After you have your data..." - i know many data sources. that isn't the problem.

    "how you want to order" - can you clarify? maybe this is where I should start.

    "..make things more clear mathematically" - it's not necessarily a mathematical question; it's a process question - HOW to do a particular thing - like creating an index, and for this reason, the title begins "How To -"
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2009
  9. Mar 26, 2009 #8
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  10. Apr 7, 2009 #9
    but thanks for attempting on something so simple!
  11. Apr 8, 2009 #10

    matt grime

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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Indices are very simple to create: grab a load of numbers (prices, measurements, whatever) then shove them into some formula. Bingo - you've got an index.

    Whether or not the index is good is highly subjective - generally people want the ranking at the end to conform approximately to their preconceptions. Most of the ones you see reported are nonsense, such as the saddest day of the year score.

    Some have merit, though it is subjective, as I say. The UK has a way to rate inflation that painted the economy as rosy and sustainable because it failed to to take accommodation costs into account. Perversely, the version that does take those costs into account is now being reported a lot as it is news-worthy now (i.e. it's showing we're in trouble).

    If you want to look for resources try 'scoring' as a key word.

    You could arbitrarily assign scores to the things you want to rank which approximate what you want to see happen, and then see what's the best fit of the input variables via some least squares regression model.
  12. Apr 8, 2009 #11
    "...failed to to take accommodation costs into account." - where the LINK to the formula used to calculate inflation for the UK??

    "the version that does take those costs.." - where the LINK for this one also?

    "try 'scoring' as a key word" - you misspelled keyword, but that aside, i got only garbage for the first 10 google results, so i tried 'index scoring', and also got garbage

    "..which approximate what you want to see happen" - you started out with a false assumption and continued it regardless.. well, at least you're consistent...
  13. Apr 9, 2009 #12

    matt grime

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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    You misspelled 'I'. You don't know what the RPI is? Oh dear. Well, given the rest of your attitude I wouldn't expect any help. Of course since you posted in mathematics forum it might have been assumed you cared about mathematics, rather than just the bogus subjective bollocks in your own link.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
  14. Apr 10, 2009 #13
    You are a bit crude but bang on matt. Exactly what I thought.
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